Retrograding 05.20.05

This has been bugging me for a long time. I hated the old system and in the year I was on the staff before we switched to my method we currently use for games reviews here at IP, I only did 14 reviews. The average score a game got from me. 7.45! Crazy, isn’t it? That old system had tiny little reviews and only measured four categories: Gameplay, Graphics, Sound and…ugh. Fun Factor. It was geared strictly for inflated scores. Or at least it felt that way every time I looked at the scores I gave out then compared to now. The average score a game has received from me since we moved to the ten category system has been a 6.54. Almost a full point DROP. That’s a big deal. The question is: Was I actually reviewing games that were that amazingly awesome, or was 411’s old system that nutty?

What I am going to do today is look at each of these reviews, link you to my comments and replace the old ratings with the ten point scale. I’m curious to see what games rise in score, what games fall, and what games stay the same. Because these new scores will replace the old ones (11 of which are GBA titles and I was the only one reviewing these games at the time), the Gameplay, Graphics and Sound will get to keep their old scores because it’s an accurate rendition of how I felt at the time. The rest of the scores will not be based on my current opinion, but by my original words. This prevents the issue of time (up to 2.5 years with some of these games) from clouding my original opinion. I’ll also link to the original reviews for you.

Let’s see what happens, shall we? Just remember this was the days before Bebito and I were in charge and games like Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance were getting a 10.0 from 411games. And because we were a Wrasslin’ site, I had to pepper my truncated works with references to sports entertainment. Trust me, I am NOT enjoying this look back. But at least it shows how I’ve improved as a writer in this genre. And it also lets us renovate the old reviews with our proper IP scoring format

1. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire

Original Scores:
Gameplay: 10.0
Graphics: 5.0
Sound: 8.0
Fun Factor: 9.0
Overall: 8.0

Current System:

Story: 5
Graphics: 5
Sound: 8
Gameplay/Control: 10
Replayability: 5
Balance: 7
Originality: 5
Addictiveness: 8
Appeal Factor: 8
Miscellaneous: 6
Overall: 6.7
Final Score: 6.5 (Big drop. And about what I think it deserves. This first ever review from me has been the one that’s plagued me ever since I wrote it.)

2. Robotech: The Macross Saga

Original Scores
Gameplay: 9.0
Graphics: 10.0
Sound: 8.0
Fun Factor: 8.0
Overall: 9.0 (Can you imagine a game getting that from me today?)

Current System:

Story: 10
Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Gameplay/Control: 10
Replayability: 10
Balance: 7
Originality: 8
Addictiveness: 9
Appeal Factor: 6
Miscellaneous: 10
Overall: 8.8
Final Score: 9.0 (Well what do you know, some things do stay the same! But it is one of my favorite games of all time)

3. Phantasy Star 1

Original Scores

GamePlay: 7
Graphics: 5
Sound: 8
Fun Factor: 5
OVERALL: 6.0

Current System:

Story: 9
Graphics: 5
Sound: 8
Gameplay/Control: 7
Replayability: 4
Balance: 5
Originality: 10
Addictiveness: 6
Appeal Factor: 6
Miscellaneous: 7
Overall: 6.7
Final Score: 6.5 (Our first raise in a score!)

4. Phantasy Star 2

Original Scores
Gameplay: 10
Graphics:10
Sound: 6
Fun Factor: 10
OVERALL: 9.0

Current System
Story: 10
Graphics: 10
Sound: 6
Gameplay/Control: 10
Replayability: 6
Balance: 7
Originality: 10
Addictiveness: 8
Appeal Factor: 8
Miscellaneous: 10
Overall: 8.5
Final Score: 8.5 (again, very close indeed. And again, one of the best RPG’s ever made)

5. Phantasy Star 3

Original Scores:
Gameplay: 5.0
Graphics: 10.0
Sound: 8.0
Fun Factor: 7.0
Overall: 7.5

Current System
Story: 7
Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Gameplay/Control: 5
Replayability: 7
Balance: 7
Originality: 7
Addictiveness: 6
Appeal Factor: 6
Miscellaneous: 8
Overall: 7.1
Final Score: 7.0 (It’s look like my scores are only off by about half a point or so.)

6. Eye Of the Beholder

Original Scores
Graphics: 8.0 (everything but the battles are excellent)
Gameplay: 9.5 (Everything is initiative, but some puzzles may be hard for first time RPG’ers.
Sound: 8.0 (no music you see. Authentic dungeon crawl with only occasional noise)
Fun Factor: 8.5 (Great game with lots of customizing. A bit too easy in some spots though)
OVERALL RATING:8.5

Current System
Story: 9
Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay/Control: 9.5
Replayability: 8
Balance: 5
Originality: 5
Addictiveness: 10
Appeal Factor: 6
Miscellaneous: 8
Overall: 7.6
Final Score: 7.5 (A point drop, but where it should be. EOTB GBA is not one of the most amazing and greatest games ever made after all.)

7. Lunar Legends

Original Scores

RATINGS
Gameplay: 9.0
Graphics: 10.0
Sound: 7.0
Fun Factor: 10.0
Overall: 9.0 (Man, look at all these high scores from me!)

Current System
Story: 9
Graphics: 10
Sound: 7
Gameplay/Control: 9
Replayability: 5
Balance: 4
Originality: 5
Addictiveness: 8
Appeal Factor: 8
Miscellaneous: 8
Overall: 7.3
Final Score: 7.5

This last one that we’ll look at today has a point and a half drop! Why? Because the old scoring system didn’t take into account things like balance or rehashing or reply value. Lunar Legends for as good as a game as it is, offers little to no replay value, except for card collecting. Fun Factor was a category totally derived from emotion! And back then, due to the insanity going on in England, video games were my escape from the hell I was being put through, so of course the scores in that area were quite high. Hell, I’d probably have given FF7 a 7.0 in there, that’s how f*cked up things were back then.

Overall, we see only 2 games actually have a massive shift, 2 games shift half a point down, 1 game shift a point down, 1 game stay the same and 1 game shift half a point up. We did see 2 games lose their 9.0 rating however, with one keeping it. I’ve only given 3 9.0’s with the IP rating system: The Suffering, Shining Force GBA, and Bubble Bobble. Next time, both Ikaruga and Pokemon Pinball are being rescored with the IP system. Will they keep their status or will I be down to only four games that get a 9.0 from me?